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INET'95 : Keynote Speech (L1-6) INET'95 : Keynote Speech (L1-6)

[Paper [Paper

Keynote Speech: The Global Telecommunication Infrastructure and the Information Society

Mr.Jipguep, J.
Chairman, Telecom Board, International Telecommunication Union

Abstract Voice by computer

There are as many views of what the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) might be as there are segments of the information and communication industry. The theme of INET '95, "The Internet: Towards a Global Information Infrastructure" might suggest the view that the GII will be an extrapolation of the Internet. Other views of what the GII will be include: The Global Information Infrastructure is the focus of discussion, but a useful distinction can be made between the Global Telecommunication Infrastructure and the Global Information Superstructure. What underlies the Internet - and many other private and public networks - is the Telecommunication Infrastructure, the network "plumbing," massive public transmission facilities including a vast fiber network. "Public" here does not mean government or PTT, only that its use is open to whomever is willing to pay for the services used. Switching or network routing functions might also be considered part of the infrastructure.

The superstructure is the services: applications (like WWW) and the contents they give access to. It is also the culture which arises from use of new ways of sharing information and ideas. The contribution of Internet to the Information Superstructure has been most remarkable: pioneering new ways of using Information Technology to create a global information society.

The Internet today is characterized by Freedom:

Freedom to connect;
Freedom to disseminate information and ideas;
Freedom to extend and develop the network;
Freedom for entrepreneurial opportunities;
Freedom to initiate new services, new ways of doing business;
Freedom for educating and for learning.
Undoubtedly the Internet will continue to have a great deal of influence and will evolve as today's Internet finds its place - or places - in the networks which will together make up the GII. We can think of the theme "The Internet: Towards a Global Information Infrastructure" as being a challenge to retain the character of the Internet in the evolution of a GII where the information superstructure will be more important than the infrastructure.

After INET '95 the full text and slides of Mr. Jipguep's keynote address will be available on http://www.itu.ch/INET95/.